In what’s been an offseason of transactions for the Minnesota Timberwolves, today, the organization announced their new jersey patch partner and digital security provider, Aura.
The Timberwolves partnered with Excel Sports Management last summer to help find a partner that could be fully integrated across their corporate ecosystem. The partnership with Aura is a multi-year deal that will include the title of season presenting partner, along with in-arena and on-court signage. The deal is also inclusive of the Minnesota Lynx and T-Wolves Gaming.
“We were in this process with Excel for over a year and no one could have planned or thought through what it would be like with a disrupted season and a shortened season with no fans,” said Timberwolves and Lynx COO, Ryan Tanke. “The alignment of the two organizations, our shared values, was obvious from the start. Aura is an organization that’s rooted in the power of diversity and inclusion. That’s something that’s very important to us.”
Fitbit was the organization’s first jersey patch sponsor with their three-year partnership ending last June. In July, former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore officially joined the ownership group after the first increment of the 1.5 billion sale of the franchise was approved by the NBA. The pair are expected to become controlling owners of the team in 2023.
In a separate transaction, Aura will also be partnering with Wolves star Anthony Edwards on a multi-year deal. As the organization’s official digital security provider, all Timberwolves and Lynx employees will have the opportunity to select Aura as a digital wellness benefit through an HR integration.
“Historically, the Timberwolves have been very focused on wellness in the Twin Cities and the midwest area,” said Aura CEO and founder, Hari Ravichandran. “The space that our company is based in is digital wellness. As we started talking about the notion of wellness and how you need to think about physical, mental, and digital wellness as part of your life, that really resonated quite well with them and we were excited about the value we could bring to the community of Minnesota as well.”
In an interview last June, Excel’s SVP and Head of Properties, Jason Miller, spoke on the opportunities the Minnesota market provides.
“Minneapolis and St. Paul are consistently ranked in the top 10 fittest cities in America,” Miller said. “They also rank first amongst the 30 largest metropolitan areas in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies per capita. When you look at that and the strategic partnerships the organization has with the likes of the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota’s corporate marketplace, the health and wellness piece, it’s a great way for a company to drive their business and their various verticals.”
As they enter in the first year of their partnership, the Timberwolves and Aura are planning several events and activations to help educate fans about the important of digital security with the theme of the importance of having a great defense.
Aura’s first promotion is extending a limited time offer to Timberwolves fans in anticipation of the home opener. Fans can purchase a single game ticket for any regular season home game by Tuesday, September 28 and receive two free tickets for the home opener vs. Houston, courtesy of Aura.
“We want this to go beyond just having a logo for visibility and more about how we can actually do things in an integrated manner to support the [Timberwolves’] mission around wellness, diversity and inclusion and lining it up around digital wellness,” Ravichandran said. “We love the culture of starting with a young team and building on the next five years and educating the general population about some of the rifts around their digital lives. We’re both hoping to achieve that with this partnership.”